D-BAT trailed 5-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, but battled back to earn a 6-5 win and remain alive in the Connie Mack World Series
FARMINGTON — D-BAT Elite 17U has a chance to win two world series titles in the same year.
The Don Mattingly World Series champion D-BAT rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-5 walk-off win over the East Cobb Yankees in Game 21 tonight at Ricketts Park.
“The one thing about our team, these kids never quit,” D-BAT coach Ryan Robertson said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re down 10 runs, these kids never quit and always believe they can come back.”
With two outs and runners on the corners, Braxton Fulford delivered the game-winning single that scored Heston Kjerstad.
“I knew that all I had to do was get a hit. My teammates did most of the work and got on third base,” Fulford said. “I went up there to put the ball in play, and I did. I found a gap, and it happened.”
D-BAT (4-1) couldn’t get anything going at the plate through the first six innings and was held to three hits by East Cobb starting pitcher Jordan Ward.
But in the seventh, Ward began to show fatigue, and the Dallas-based D-BAT squad jumped on the opportunity. Fulford led off the inning with a single that dropped between East Cobb’s Kyle Jacobsen and Colin Hall after miscommunication on the fly ball.
East Cobb, from Marietta, Ga., brought in two relief pitchers to try to get out of the inning with the win, but both Andy Archer and Austin Wilhite struggled to find the strike zone.
“Things just went the wrong way for us. We brought in some relief pitchers, and they didn’t throw strikes,” East Cobb coach James Beavers said. “It just went the wrong way on us. It’s baseball. If you play it long enough, you’ll see it all.”
In the inning, D-BAT got two-out RBIs from Noah Sifrit, Kjerstad, Jimmy Glowenke before Fulford’s walk-off.
East Cobb (3-1) opened up the scoring in the top of the third. With runners on the corners and two outs, Jacobsen hit a hard ball that ricocheted off D-BAT third baseman Garrett Wright as he slid to make the stop, allowing Hall to score from third.
East Cobb kept the runs coming in the fifth. After back-to-back singles from Tucker Maxwell and Devin Warner, Kyle McCann singled to right field to drive in both base runners and extend the Yankees’ lead to 4-0.
McCann later scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0, where it stayed until the bottom of the seventh.
The loss was the first of the tournament for East Cobb, and both teams remain alive for Friday’s final round.
The Dallas Tigers join East Cobb and D-BAT as the remaining teams in the world series. East Cobb received a bye in the third round of the tournament, so D-BAT and the Tigers drew for a bye into the championship game.
The Tigers (4-1) won the draw, setting up a rematch between D-BAT and East Cobb in Game 22 at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Ricketts Park for a trip to the finals against the Tigers.
The championship game will start at 8 p.m. at Ricketts Park.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-5648.
D-BAT Elite 17U
Leading hitter: Heston Kjerstad, 2 for 4, 2 RBIs, R
WP: Grayson Rodriguez
East Cobb Yankees
Leading hitters: Billy Zinnershine, 2 for 4, RBI. Kyle McCann, 1 for 4, 2 RBIs, R
LP: Austin Wilhite